With a dog through South America

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With a dog through South America

With a dog through South America
Tinka’s journey

Eight months in South America. From Buenos Aires via Tierra del Fuego north to Ecuador. Penguins, llamas and sea lions in view, salt lakes, glaciers, geysers and volcanoes. Always in the sidecar, muzzle in the wind: what a dog’s life!

Martina Seip

07/03/2001

Tinka skilfully cushions the many potholes. The whole thing looks totally crazy. Instead of following the slim silhouette of a motorcycle, as usual, I drive after this “animal” HU team, because we had decided: the dog will come with us. After all, we couldn’t let Tinka down for eight months. So Lieven swapped his solo machine for this huge expedition tricycle “made by” Horst Ullrich, and Tinka felt at home in her dog-friendly boat right from the start. We arrived in Buenos Aires four weeks ago. We saw tango dancers on Calle Florida and ate our first empanadas. We met penguins and sea lions on the Valdes peninsula. Tinka doubted her senses ?? There really wasn’t anything like that in the Odenwald. And why she was absolutely not allowed to go into the water made no sense to her either. How can you explain to a dog that there are orcas here and that such a killer whale may not be able to tell its favorite seal from a Risenschnauzer. When later an armadillo stole a piece of bread from “her” sidecar, Tinka’s good mood was gone. In the meantime, however, nothing can impress our blacks: ostriches, guanacos ?? so what? After a good 3000 kilometers in Argentina, she is an expert in all things South America, defends the hurricane-like winds of the Patagonian pampas, and knows what is important in life on the slopes. Behind Rio Gallegos, we still have to travel a short distance through Chile to reach our first stage destination Tierra del Fuego, and then … oh no! At the limit my heart almost stops. A large and clear sign announces that no animals may be imported into Chile. With beads of sweat on my forehead, I whisper to the customs officer: “We have a dog, Senor.” Tinka extends her muzzle at him in a friendly manner. But the civil servant remains unmoved and rummages through our papers without saying a word. Scrolls, searches. And then he discovers the SENASA stamp of the Argentine health authority for animals and plants: We are allowed to pass. Overjoyed, we dash towards Ushuaia, drive on Ruta 3 into the Tierra del Fuego National Park and after 30 kilometers are at the southernmost end of the road on earth. In the midst of rugged cliffs, glaciers, lakes and impenetrable rainforest. It is autumn. Snow and sun envelop the fascinating landscape in crystal clear light. But after a few wet and cold nights in the tent, we are glad that from now on we only go northwards. On the »Ruta Quarenta«, which stretches mostly unpaved from Tierra del Fuego to Bolivia, we are again tormented by the icy wind, and the team comes despite its over 60 hp often does not go beyond second gear. We cross the breathtaking Parque Nacional Los Glaciares with the largest glaciers between the North and South Pole, enter Chile for the second time at the height of Perito Moreno and land on the famous Carretera Austral, notorious for its 300 rainy days a year. Soaking wet, we lurch past deep blue fjords, through untouched cold rainforests, to then reach areas with heavy clear-cutting again. Gauchos emerge from the rain. With spirited horses, poncho and hat, the obligatory pack of dogs in tow. Tinka proudly pulls past them. She has found the best spot of all of us under the canopy of her boat. When Lieven asks for a piece of meat for Tinka in one of the tiny villages, they bring us half a pig in a wheelbarrow. Behind Santiago, the only paved Andean pass lures past the almost 7,000-meter-high Aconcagua. Here we set course for Salta to get to San Pedro de Atacama via the Paso Sico. As the slope meanders down from the volcanic Puna plateau into the driest desert in the world, I breathe a sigh of relief: finally warmth. And for the first time other motorcycle travelers. It’s infinitely good to exchange ideas. Tinka also finds a contemporary friend: Bigote, boss dog from the campsite of our choice. He confidently introduces “his conquest” into the stray life of San Pedro. And soon we have the assembled male celebrities of the small Atacama tourist enclave on our necks ?? Tinka is in heat. We free the “little one” from her man’s stories, make a detour to the El Tatío geyser field, where it steams and spits from all the “holes in hell” at almost 4,300 meters above sea level. After that it is finally called »hasta luego, Chile«. Ahead of us lies the famous lagoon tour, which leads over sky-high gravel passes into Bolivian Uyuni, 550 kilometers away. And here, of all places, the bracket for the front brake caliper breaks on the trailer. The brake line also breaks, and nothing has worked at the rear for a long time anyway. As if by a miracle, we discover a factory for the extraction of borax “in the middle of nowhere”. The guys from the workshop weld the bracket, Lieven relocates the brake line of the sidecar and the tour through this almost unreal world of turquoise lagoons and snow-powdered volcanoes can go on. At night the temperature drops to 20 degrees below zero, during the day it hardly gets warmer . As a precaution, Tinka is now getting a sweater, even though the cold doesn’t seem to bother her. Your undivided attention is to the pink parts up there: flamingos, lots of them. When the Salar de Uyuni finally lies in front of us, we can no longer believe our eyes either: This huge salt flat is uniquely beautiful. Almost 20,000 square kilometers of blinding white ?? We let ourselves be enchanted by it for days. At the end of July we reach La Paz. From there we head towards the jungle. The drive into the tropical valleys of the Yungas is one of the most spectacular routes in South America. From the Abra La Cumbre pass, the slope descends over 4000 meters into the Amazon region. It is not for nothing that it is also called the “road of death”. I hardly dare to look to the left, because the completely unsecured abyss yawns. A few weeks ago a family of four crashed here and two motorcyclists were found during the rescue. In Coroicó, Lieven actually had enough of shaking the slopes with the three-wheeled monster. But I found the “little yellow one”, which leads on the map via Mapiri to Lake Titicaca, quite appealing. A nice round through the jungle … and now we’re standing at this darned river and can’t get any further. The 30 meter long ford is far too deep and the current too strong. The engine and exhaust of the team would sink completely, the boxer guaranteed to draw water. Too risky. The moment we decide to turn around, a truck comes along. Wonderful! With four men both BMWs are balanced on the truck? and off the ferry goes. Unfortunately, the helmsman stops in the silted up area on the opposite bank and it takes us another three hours to clear the truck. The only one who really enjoys river life is Tinka. While we toil in the sun, she passes the time in the cooling water. Behind the Peruvian border, however, she too experiences her »Waterloo«. With a pushy llama, who is offered to us by friendly villagers as a second boat figure. But Tinka doesn’t want to, and when the Peruvian ball of wool opens its lips to spit on that “black schnauzer face”, Tinka’s love for the llamas is over. On the other hand, she likes the condors high above the Canon de Colca. And on the Rio Ucayali she looks curiously for piranhas and crocodiles, while we see “real” Indians for the first time: Shipibos. But they don’t walk around in bast skirts either, instead we embody the real tourists. In November we arrive in the Ecuadorian capital Quito. We will be returning to Germany for a few months to supplement our travel budget. But the motorcycles stay here, because Tinka’s adventure is not over yet. She wants to go to Alaska. See polar bears, walruses, puffins. We are on.

What does colleague Schroder actually do?

Franca Buzza and MOTORRAD-Unterwegs-Editor Michael Schroder have been on the road in South America on a BMW F 650 GS and a Bavarian-Black Forest monster cow for over three months. For a short time, however, her adventure trip mutated into an involuntary beach holiday on the beaches of Arica in northern Chile. Reason for the inappropriate stopover: The studded tires of the two enduros had been aiming for a new career as slicks for several thousand kilometers. Unfortunately, the tire delivery to Arica that had been promised several times failed to materialize. Whipped for two weeks. In addition, Schroder’s monster cow suffered from massive muscle wasting on the rear brake pads. With a seven-hundred-weight ship on unpaved, steep mountain passes over 4000 meters high, anything but funny. Fortunately, however, the Chilean police played the selfless friend and helper: The fleet manager of the police station in Arica donated the traveling editor the new brake pads of a BMW R 1100 RT, which was temporarily suspended from work due to an engine failure, because Buzza and Schroder were no longer on Wanted to hang around the beach and wait for the fresh gums, they rescheduled the delivery to La Paz and set off again. Course: Santa Cruz. A larger settlement in the tropical Bolivian lowlands, which marks the most easterly point of the entire trip. In Bolivia, political unrest and roadblocks are just as worrisome for them as the more and more degrading tires. Gradually, time is pressing, because there are still some challenging Andean passes and a long way to the destination Quito in Ecuador. How the Traveler Team is doing at the moment can be read at www.motorradonline.de. Thorsten Dentges

Info

DISTANCE TRAVELING WITH A DOG Basically, overseas trips are very stressful for dogs, especially because of the flying. So: think carefully whether it really makes sense to take your four-legged friend with you. A box is required for transport in which the animal can stand upright. The box flies as excess baggage at the cheapest price. You check in the dog as normal and get it back at the destination airport with the rest of the luggage. If the papers are in order, there are no problems with customs and the animal can be released from its crate as quickly as possible. If the box goes on board as cargo, customs clearance becomes much more complicated and the dog has to endure correspondingly longer. American airlines handle the transfer at a uniform rate as so-called pet transport. Example Frankfurt-Quito: 160 dollars. The cargo transport with Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Buenos Aires, however, cost us almost 2000 marks. By the way, dogs up to seven kilograms have a good chance of finding a place in the cabin. Important: The animal should not be fed 24 hours before departure to avoid vomiting. They also need to have had enough exercise beforehand and drink as much as possible. A light sedative (valerian) is advisable, but the dog must not appear sick because otherwise the transport may be refused. VACCINATIONS / ENTRY As a rule, a dog vaccinated in Germany is immune to all dog diseases that occur worldwide. However, heartworms are warned in tropical regions. Prophylaxis is recommended. We didn’t have any serious problems at any border crossing. For Argentina, the vaccination card with rabies vaccination and a health certificate stamped by the official veterinarian and the Argentine consulate were required. In Chile, another certificate from the national health authority of the respective country of departure was required. In Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador the vaccination card was sufficient. ON THE ROADSome South American hotels and restaurants do not allow dogs to enter. But the simpler the establishment, the friendlier the reception. Almost every place has dog food, dry or canned. And if there isn’t one, meat and rice can be found everywhere. MOTORCYCLE TRANSPORT The ship transport to Buenos Aires with the company Schenker International cost three weeks and 300 marks per cubic meter. In addition, there were port and agency fees of $ 500. Air France was able to arrange the return transport from Quito / Ecuador for two dollars per volume kilo (length x width x height, in millimeters, divided by 6000). Lufthansa flies to Santiago de Chile on the same terms. LITERATURE The English language »South American Handbook« by Ben Box, published by Footprint-Verlag, is particularly recommended. 1700 pages, 69.90 marks. Good maps are in short supply in normal trade, but Darr Expeditionsservice GmbH, phone 089/282032, has exact Russian military maps for 24 marks each.

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